Happy Tuesday! Hope your week is cranking already.
I got a bunch of emails over the last week or so responding to my questions I sent a few weeks ago.
They ranged from slightly ridiculous:
To pretty insightful:
(Quick side note here: The first email email came from someone struggling to grow their business while the second came from a prior year’s Ultimate Marketer finalist. There’s a lesson to be learned there).
I’ve included a handful of responses that are a pretty good reflection of everything I got:
“I think busy comes from fear. Fear of being wrong.”
“I am now paying for mistakes I made (in most cases) months or years ago.”
“The payoff for doing the ‘right’ stuff is soft, and far down the road in most cases.”
My time “seems to be getting stolen by those around me.”
“I believe busy comes from being unorganized.”
“Worried about taking the time away.”
So last Thursday morning I was talking to my wife about what everybody had been emailing in, and it clicked. Now I think in pictures so anytime that happens, I have to get to something to draw on. That morning, I was in the bathroom so I grabbed the dry erase marker I had in my pocket (never leave home without them) and drew this on my bathroom mirror:
I’ve never been accused of having great handwriting, so let me decipher the picture for you.
There are three main elements.
1) The bracket on the left = Our Time
2) The things listed down the middle = Stuff We Could Be Doing
3) The arrow on the right = Our Priorities
You’ll notice that the list of things we could be doing is endless, but our time isn’t. You’ll also notice that the only way we can control what actually fits into our time, is through our priorities. Now I don’t think that idea is anything new really, but I do believe that image has the power to be transformational.
Every successful person that I have ever met in my life has a firm grasp on two key principles:
1) Their own capacity is limited
2) They have to be able to say no to “good” in order to do “great”
Meanwhile, almost every person I’ve ever met who is struggling, suffers from two dilemmas:
1) They pretend (defined as “speaking and acting so as to make it appear that something is the case when in fact it is not”) that they have a greater capacity to accomplish than they actually do.
2) They are not able to say no.
Which is why I love the quote I shared earlier that says “‘I’m too busy’ just means that ‘I can’t say no to the unimportant.'”
It could probably be rewritten to say “‘I’m too busy’ just means that ‘I’m too afraid to say no to the opportunity in front of me because I haven’t really decided what I’m actually trying to make happen in my life so I don’t have a good reason to not accept and I don’t want to disappoint anyone and deep inside of me I feel like if I just work really hard I can do everything that comes across my plate.'”
The original version does roll off the tongue a little better though… 😉
So anyway, I was in New York recently to receive an award for being featured in Forbes magazine, and I had the chance to give a 10 minute talk about what I think is the key to being successful in this economy. What I presented there is very much in line with this whole idea of being busy, so I figured I’d just share the video.
Check out the video and then leave me some comments (it’s only 10 minutes long).
Hope you enjoy the video! I’ll be in touch soon.